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Ukraine hit by energy shutdowns after Russian attacks target infrastructure

Ukraine hit by energy shutdowns after Russian attacks target infrastructure
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Ukraine imposed emergency power shutdowns in most of the country on Sunday, a day after Russia unleashed large-scale attacks on energy infrastructure and claimed it made gains in the eastern Donetsk province.

The shutdowns were in place in all but three regions of Ukraine following Saturday’s drone and missile attack on energy targets that injured at least 19 people.

Ukraine’s state-owned power grid operator Ukrenergo said the shutdowns affected both industrial and household consumers.

Sustained Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power grid in recent weeks have forced the government to institute nationwide rolling blackouts. Without adequate air defences to counter assaults and allow for repairs, though, the shortages could still worsen as need spikes in late summer and the bitter-cold winter.

Among the most significant recent strikes were an April barrage that damaged Kyiv’s largest thermal power plant and a massive attack on May 8 that targeted power generation and transmission facilities in several regions.

A Ukrainian serviceman tests an anti-drone gun in May, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Photo: via AFP

Following Saturday’s barrage, Ukraine’s air force said on Sunday that air defences had shot down all 25 drones launched overnight.

Russia claimed on Sunday that it had taken control of the village of Umanske in the partially Russian-occupied Donetsk region.

Russia’s coordinated new offensive has centred on Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, but seems to include testing Ukrainian defences in Donetsk farther south, while also launching incursions in the northern Sumy and Chernihiv regions.

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In Russia, six people were injured in shelling in the city of Shebekino in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Sunday.

He also said that a local official, the deputy head of the Korochansky district, had been killed by “detonation of ammunition”. He gave no details.

In the neighbouring Kursk region, three people were injured on Sunday when an explosive device was dropped from a drone, according to acting regional head Alexey Smirnov.

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